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How to Drill Out a Mailbox Lock with a Power Drill

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Written By John Gibbs




» Power Tools » Drill » DIY Drill Projects » How to Drill Out a Mailbox Lock with a Power Drill
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If you have a stuck or broken mailbox lock, you may be wondering how to drill out a mailbox lock. Drilling out a mailbox lock is not difficult, and can be accomplished in five easy steps. By following these steps, you can quickly and easily remove the lock from your mailbox.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Materials

Step 1: Gather The Necessary Materials

To drill out a mailbox lock, you will need the following materials:

Material Description
Drill A cordless drill with a ⅜” drill bit.
Screwdriver A flat head screwdriver to remove the screws on the lock.
Safety Glasses To protect your eyes from flying debris.

In addition to these materials, you may also need a few additional items depending on the type of lock on your mailbox. It is important to have all of the necessary materials before beginning the process to make sure you can successfully drill out the mailbox lock.

Step 2: Prepare the Lock

Step 2: Prepare The Lock

  • Check the Lock Type: Before drilling out a mailbox lock, it is important to identify the exact type of lock. Look closely at the lock to determine if it is a tubular or a disc tumbler lock.
  • Choose the Right Drill Bit: Tubular locks require a special drill bit, while disc tumbler locks can be drilled out with a standard drill bit. Be sure to choose a drill bit that matches the size of the lock, as this will make the drilling process easier.
  • Secure the Lock: Once you have the right drill bit, you need to secure the lock in place. Use a vise or clamp to hold the lock firmly in place. This will help to ensure that the drill does not slip when drilling.
  • Mark the Lock: Once the lock is secure, use a marker to mark the center of the lock. This will help to ensure that the drill bit is centered on the lock when drilling.
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Step 3: Choose the Right Drill Bit

Step 3: Choose The Right Drill Bit

When it comes to drilling out a mailbox lock, it is essential that you select the right drill bit. The wrong drill bit will not only make the job more difficult, but it can also damage the lock and make it unusable. To ensure that you select the right drill bit for the job:

  • Check the type of lock – Different locks require different drill bits; therefore, you must check the type of lock first.
  • Choose a high-speed steel bit – High-speed steel bits are the best choice for drilling out locks as they are able to cut through hard metals quickly and efficiently.
  • Select the right size – Make sure that you select a drill bit that is the same size as the lock. If the bit is too large, it may damage the lock.

Once you’ve selected the right drill bit, ensure that the bit is securely attached to the drill before you begin drilling.

Step 4: Drill through the Lock

Step 4: Drill Through The Lock

  • Secure the lock in the vice.
  • Use a drill bit that is slightly larger than the size of the keyhole in the lock.
  • Drill through the center of the keyhole with light pressure, allowing the drill bit to do the work.
  • Once you have drilled through the lock, remove the lock from the vice and discard it.

Step 5: Replace the Lock

Step Description
Step 5 Replace the lock.

Now that the old lock has been drilled out, the last step is to replace it. Begin by finding a new mailbox lock that is the same size and shape as the old one. Make sure to research the local laws in your area to determine the correct size of the lock that is allowed. Once you have found the correct lock, attach it to the mailbox and secure it with the necessary screws. If necessary, make sure to use a waterproof sealant around the edges of the lock to ensure that water and other elements cannot enter the mailbox. Finally, make sure to test the lock to ensure that it is in working order.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What tools do I need to drill out a Mailbox Lock?

  • Power Drill: A power drill is the essential tool for drilling out a mailbox lock. You’ll need a drill bit that’s the same size or slightly larger than the lock’s hole.
  • Screwdriver: You’ll need a screwdriver to remove the screws on the mailbox’s door.
  • Lock Pick Set: Having a lock pick set on hand can help you to open the mailbox without drilling. However, if the lock is too secure, you may need to resort to drilling.
  • Drill Bits: An assortment of drill bits will come in handy for drilling out the mailbox lock. Be sure to use the right size drill bit so that you don’t damage the mailbox.
  • Eye Protection: Wear eye protection when drilling out the mailbox lock to protect your eyes from debris.

Can I reuse the lock after I drill it out?

Yes, it is possible to reuse the lock once it is drilled out. Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Check for damage to the lock caused by the drill.
  • Make sure the tumblers are still operational.
  • Replace the key cylinder if necessary.
  • Secure the lock back into the mailbox with a new set of screws.

Reusing the lock can be a great option if the mailbox is still in good condition. If the lock and mailbox are still intact, then it can be a cheaper and more secure option than replacing the entire mailbox.

Is it Safe to Drill Out a Mailbox Lock?

Drilling out a mailbox lock is an easy way to gain access to the mail inside, but it’s important to remember that it can be dangerous and can damage the mailbox. Before drilling, it’s best to check with the local post office or homeowner’s association to make sure it is allowed in your area. It is also important to use caution when drilling out a lock, as the drill bit could slip or the mailbox could be damaged.

Are There Any Other Methods for Getting into a Locked Mailbox?

1. Pick the lock: This is one of the more difficult methods as it requires skill and specific tools. It is not recommended unless you already have experience with picking locks.

2. Use a bump key: This method is similar to lock picking but requires a bump key. A bump key is specially designed to open locks.

3. Use a skeleton key: This is another method that requires a specific tool. A skeleton key is designed to open any lock.

4. Call a locksmith: This is the easiest and most secure method of gaining access to a locked mailbox. A locksmith can open the mailbox without damaging it and can provide a new lock if needed.

How can I make sure I don’t damage the mailbox while drilling out the lock?

1. Use the correct drill bit: Make sure the drill bit you are using is the right size and type for the lock. Using the wrong type or size of drill bit can damage the mailbox.

2. Wear safety glasses: Wear safety glasses when drilling to protect your eyes from any debris that may be thrown off by the drill.

3. Drill slowly: It is important to drill slowly and carefully when drilling out a mailbox lock. Be sure to keep a steady hand as you drill to avoid any unnecessary damage to the mailbox.

4. Secure the mailbox: Before drilling out the lock, be sure to secure the mailbox in place. You can use clamps or a vice to keep the mailbox in place while you are drilling.

5. Use a lubricant: Applying a lubricant to the drill bit can help reduce friction and heat build-up when drilling. This will help to prevent any unnecessary damage to the mailbox.


Drilling out a mailbox lock is a task that requires accuracy, precision and a few tools. With the right steps, it can be done quickly and without causing any damage to the mailbox. Following the five steps outlined in this article will ensure a successful mailbox lock replacement.



About John Gibbs

Hello everyone! My name is John Gibbs. I am 60 years old and have been in the family construction business all my adult life. Construction is not only my profession but also my passion. I know everything about building and repair materials, tools, advanced methods, techniques, and approaches. I will share the same knowledge with you in my articles.

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